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«PROGRAM OVERVIEW Looking for a fun and challenging career in the outdoors? Interested in learning a variety of recreational and wilderness-based ...»

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Adventure Recreation and Parks   Section B.98   



Ontario College Diploma (2 Years - 4 Semesters ) (5212)

705.759.6700  :  1.800.461.2260  :  www.saultcollege.ca  :  Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada


Looking for a fun and challenging career in the outdoors? Interested in learning a variety of recreational

and wilderness-based skills? This is the program for you.

The natural, rugged wilderness of the Algoma Highlands and Lake Superior region make the Sault area an ideal location for studying parks and Adventure recreation. The area contains several provincial parks and Parks Canada facilities, conservation areas, municipal parks, and outdoor recreational facilities. Included in this list are several Michigan State parks and U. S. National parks and forests, all within a short drive of Sault College.

Unique in Canada, our two-year Adventure Recreation and Parks Technician program offers you a broad background in natural resource management, with quality instruction in three major areas of concentration: Parks, Adventure Recreation, and Travel & Ecotourism. Specialty courses in the parks field include Park Operations, Park Interpretation, and Park Protection.

Adventure recreation training forms the second major component of our program and includes specialty courses in Recreation Planning, Adventure Recreation, and our Second Year Field Camp travel & ecotourism training forms the last major component of our program, and includes specialty courses in Ecotourism, and Adventure Expeditions.

Field trips and hands-on experience form an important part of the program. Students will visit a number of park systems and outdoor recreational facilities in the Lake Superior region. Knowledge of the natural environment will be stressed through acquiring field identification skills in a number of different courses such as Trees and Shrubs, Plant Diversity, Animal Diversity, and Regional Geology. During fall camp, students will be exposed to a number of skill areas in the outdoor recreation field, such as canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, and wilderness camping.

As part of our commitment to providing practical, hands-on training and skills necessary to secure long-term employment, our program offers valuable opportunities to acquire employer recognized certifications where feasible. Many of these certifications are provincially or nationally recognized. Some of the specialized parks-related training which may be outside of class includes Chainsaw Operator Safety and Heritage Interpreter certification. Specialized outdoor recreation-related training may also be offered and may include certification in wilderness survival, kayaking, canoeing, nordic and alpine skiing, snowboarding, rock and ice climbing, and scuba diving. All certifications are subject to specific requirements and where applicable additional fees. Some certification courses are arranged through the School of Continuing Education at an additional cost to the student. Most of these certifications are provincially or nationally recognized.

Students may have the opportunity to be involved in applied research projects. Please see the `Applied Research Centre` section for more information relating to the Sault College Applied Research Centre.



Ontario Secondary School diploma with Grade 12 English (C) ENG4C or mature student status.


Graduates of the program are trained to work in the public and private sectors, including Parks Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, conservation authorities, municipal parks departments, and private park owners. Examples of employment found within these park agencies include Park Warden, Park Interpreter, Resource Technician, and Park Superintendent.

In the Adventure Recreation field opportunities include employment prospects with adventure travel and ecotourism companies, either as a guide or business owner. Graduates may become recreational instructors at outdoor centres and children`s camps, teaching a variety of skills such as canoeing and kayaking. Opportunities as snowboard/ski instructors in winter or wilderness outfitters and/or retailers may also be available.


This is a Co-operative Education Program. September and January Intakes are available for this program.

This is a co-operative education program. Students are required to complete at least one co-op work placement (CWF100) in order to graduate. Work placement and career development skills are taught as one module in the Natural Resources Career Management course in Semester 2. For more information

contact Program Coordinators Brian Anstess and Ryan Namespetra at:

Brian.Anstess@saultcollege.ca 705-759-2554 Ext: 2461 Ryan.Namespetra@saultcollege.ca 705-759-2554 Ext: 2853


SEMESTER 1 CMM115-3 Communications I NET100-3 Fish and Wildlife Studies I NRT101-3 Trees and Shrubs I NRT111-4 Park Operations NRT123-3 Outdoor Navigation NRT130-3 Adventure Recreation I NRT131-2 Fall Field Camp - First Year NRT141-3 Science and Nature SEMESTER 2 CWF100-3 Co-op Work Placement I Note: CWF100-3 is mandatory and takes place in the summer.

MTH125-3 Business Mathematics NET105-3 Fish and Wildlife Studies II NET107-3 Outdoor Equipment Certifications NRT109-3 Ecology NRT116-2 Natural Resources Career Management NRT133-3 Trees and Shrubs II NRT134-3 Adventure Recreation II NRT145-3 Horticulture Groundskeeper SEMESTER 3 NET108-4 Geographic Information Systems NRT212-3 Park Interpretation NRT232-2 Fall Camp - Parks and Adventure Recreation - Second Year NRT234-3 Adventure Recreation and Parks Leadership NRT238-3 Physical Geology NRT256-3 Ecosystem Classification NRT260-4 Trail Construction and Facility Maintenance GEN100-3 Global Citizenship SEMESTER 4 NRT211-3 Protecting Park Values NRT225-4 Wilderness Survival Skills NRT231-3 Planning Recreational Events NRT233-3 Adventure Ecotourism NRT240-2 Natural Resources Law NRT242-2 Natural Environment Business Management NRT235-2 Sustainable Resource Management

Select one of the following:

GAS103: What in the World is Going On?

GAS109: Music and Pop Culture GAS116: Your Two Cents GEN110: Student Selected General Education HDG122: Personal and Academic Success Strategies SSC102: Introduction to Aboriginal Peoples of Canada Note: *Students must choose one of the identified Student Selected General Education Courses Course Descriptions Semester 1 Communications I (CMM115) (3 credits) The focus of this course is paragraph writing. Students will produce effective, college-level expository/response paragraphs by developing analytical skills to select and properly integrate electronic and other research materials. Writing components such as grammar, sentence structure, paragraph development, editing, and referencing are included.

Fish and Wildlife Studies I (NET100) (3 credits)

This course concentrates on fundamental aspects of anatomy, physiology, and ecology of Ontario birds, Ontario Turtles, Ontario Snakes and Ontario Amphibian species. Lab sessions will develop skills in identification and classification, as well provide knowledge and experience with commonly used field inventory techniques.

Trees and Shrubs I (NRT101) (3 credits) This course will provide a systematic study of structural characteristics of trees and shrubs, the identification of Canadian species by leaf features, their relationships to one another and recognition of their dynamic role in forest ecology. Coniferous species will be studied in considerable detail including twig, bark and growth characteristics.

Park Operations (NRT111) (4 credits) As one of the core background courses in the Parks & Outdoor Recreation program, students will be introduced to a number of major park systems where employment opportunities are found. All lectures provide a systematic review of the agencies that manage parks and protected areas in Canada. In addition, the labs focus on preparing students for seasonal and full-time employment through coverage of traditional park positions. Park management objectives and current issues in parks will also be discussed, and studied through practical exercises such as the Park Investigative Report. There will be field trips scheduled throughout the term.

Outdoor Navigation (NRT123) (3 credits) Students will gain skills in orienteering and navigating in forested areas using a magnetic hand compass, topographic maps (OBM, NTS), OMNR standard aerial photographs and global positioning systems (GPS).

Students will use a navigational protractor, metric scale, and digital planimeter in the planning and presentation of field exercises. Pacing and distance measurement devices (50 m rope, 30 m tape, Hip-Chain) will be used to measure distances in a team environment. Calculations of distance, area and pacing factors will be covered.

Adventure Recreation I (NRT130) (3 credits) Providing a foundation in Canoeing, Kayaking, Hiking and Biking this course will bring students on an exploration of nature through human power. With a strong emphasis on safety students will learn how equipment works, how to maintain it and proper transportation techniques to venues. Utilizing world class trails, routes and the awe inspiring Lake Superior students will increase their fitness and learn efficiency techniques of cycling, paddling and hiking.

Fall Field Camp - First Year (NRT131) (2 credits) A one week period in the fall will provide the new student with practical outdoor natural resource related skills including watercraft handling, compassing, tree identification and hand tool and power tool maintenance use.

Science and Nature (NRT141) (3 credits) This course examines six topics of science that are fundamental to an understanding of the role of research and the relationship of biology and chemical interaction to natural resource management. Topics include the Science and the Scientific Method, Systems in Nature, The Species in an Evolutionary Context, The Cell as the Fundamental Unit of Life, Water as a Medium for Life, and Chemical Interactions in the Environment.

Semester 2

Co-op Work Placement I (CWF100) (3 credits) The student will acquire natural resources work experience in various areas of natural resources. Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of interpersonal, teamwork, technical, and leadership skills as they meet the daily challenges of a dynamic workplace environment.

Business Mathematics (MTH125) (3 credits) Students will study business math concepts such as statistics, graphing, percentage applications, currency exchange, simple and compound interest, annuities, income/expense statements, balance sheets and cash flow. Students will use these concepts in applications using spreadsheet software.

Fish and Wildlife Studies II (NET105) (3 credits) Students will learn to identify, discuss life cycles and interpretive value of selected freshwater fishes and mammals..  Common wildlife species will be identified by their tracks & signs, scat, fur and skull. Field surveys will be conducted to assess wildlife habitat.

Outdoor Equipment Certifications (NET107) (3 credits) Students will demonstrate the proper mixing of fuel, retrieve and maintain field equipment, demonstrate safe trailer operation and successfully complete the Canada Safety Council ATV Safe Rider course, and the Sault College Chainsaw and Brush saw courses.

Ecology (NRT109) (3 credits) This is an introductory course to provide students with an understanding of ecology as it relates to people who work with renewable resources. The course covers a wide range of topics that examine the interactions between plants and animals and their physical environment. A combination of lectures, labs and field surveys provide insight into the structure and function of ecosystems in general; but emphasize forest and freshwater aquatic ecosystems in Canada.

Natural Resources Career Management (NRT116) (2 credits) This course will provide the student with the skills, tools and knowledge necessary to develop and manage their careers in the Natural Resources Field. This course will include researching Natural Resources employers, how and when to apply to Natural Resources employers, trends in Natural Resources employment areas, what Natural Resources employers like and don`t like in a resume, interview tips for Natural Resources employment, how to network for employment in Natural Resources, planning your career in Natural Resources, teamwork and interpersonal skills used in Natural Resources, the importance of attitude in career development and the preparation of the student for the CWF100 Co-op Work Term Placement.

Trees and Shrubs II (NRT133) (3 credits) Students will gain the skill of winter identification of major tree and shrub species that are representative of the forest regions and urban areas of Ontario. Students will also identify dwarf woody plants and herbs commonly found in Ontario woodlands. The silvics of tree species and the ecology of plant associations will be studied to complement the identification of tree, shrub and herbaceous plant species.

Adventure Recreation II (NRT134) (3 credits) This course will involve a series of outdoor education workshops focused on expanding student knowledge of outdoor recreational programming for both children and adult groups. This is a skills-oriented course, where students will be trained to work as outdoor recreation programmers and instructors for work with a variety of different employers including: parks, outdoor education centers, children's camps, recreational resorts, and a host of other related facilities. Field trips and hands-on experience focusing on experiential learning will be stressed. Topics such as employment opportunities in outdoor recreation, children's campfire programming, experiential education, team building games and initiatives, dog sledding, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, winter camping, Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, rock & ice climbing, horseback riding, and canoeing may be discussed.

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